When Time Keeps Slipping Away
"Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." Psalm 90:10, 12 (NLT)
Recently my family experienced an unexpected treat. For the first time in many months, we had the joy of a weekend with no obligations! No ballgames, no travel, no commitments—just unstructured time.
Savoring my coffee Monday morning, I thought about the laughter, conversations and relaxing moments. Each had brought a peaceful feeling over my spirit and reminded of how precious the gift of time is, yet how often I take it for granted.
For weeks my thoughts had been continually nudging me to do more, yet my heart had been whispering do less. At the same time I sensed Jesus calling me to rest, and spend more time with Him and my loved ones. But life had just been so busy, and other demands had screamed for my attention.
I realized how I had let time slip away without investing it wisely.
The Bible records the words of Moses, a man who understood the value of time. In Psalm 90, Moses recognizes the brevity of life, and the importance of making the most of the time we have been given.
Perhaps Moses wrote from a place of frustration. After all, he'd watched his entire generation wander aimlessly for 40 years because they didn't trust God's promises. They kept busy with jobs, chores and responsibilities. But they apparently spent more time grumbling than getting to know God better, or enjoying the blessings and people in their lives.
Many of us experience this same dilemma, wandering through daily routines and overbooked schedules. There's little time left at the end of the day to spend with Jesus or those we love. Before we know it, the days turn into years and our hearts are no wiser. We get in a rut of grumbling about troubles and busyness, while ignoring the necessity of rest and the benefits of unstructured time.
I used to view "down time" as being unproductive. I would feel guilty for sitting down with a good book when the sink was full of dirty dishes, or snuggling with my children on the couch to watch a movie when I had errands to run or work to do.
Yet God designed rest because our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits need it. Slowing down and paying attention to what fills our day allows us to refocus and rest.
It gives us time to soak in His Word, have quiet prayer, and invest in our family. These are easy to disregard when life's too busy. Even if we're busy with good things, they may draw us away from what the Lord would have us do.
As we understand the brevity of life and value our time, we'll gain a wise heart that seeks the Lord's will. Let's ask God to show us each day how He wants to fill the hours we are given. Whether He guides us to enjoy personal time, rest and relax, hang out with friends or family, study His Word, or enjoy some fun activities, if He is leading our choices, we'll find peace, contentment, and joy.
Dear Lord, only You know how many breaths I have. Please help me use my time wisely, and invest it in the people and things that matter most. Help me consciously plan time for myself, my family and my faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
How do you spend the majority of your time? Is it spent on the things that matter most?
Does it seem that life is flying by, and you never have time to enjoy it or the people in it? What changes can you make to remedy this problem?
Get alone with God and His Word to determine if you need to realign your priorities regarding how you spend your time. Set some challenging goals that reflect wise values that will honor Jesus.
Ephesians 5:16-17, "...making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." (NASB)